Going wild Take a walk on the wild side and check out some of Yorkshire’s other animal adventures.
Llama speed dating Match up with a llama or an alpaca and take a hike in North Yorkshire. You could be paired with drama llama, greedy llama, laid-back llama, teenage rebel llama or there are plenty more llamas and alpacas to best suit your personality. Trekking is primarily an adult activity, children must be over 10 years to take part and pre-booking is essential. As featured on ITV’s The Dales and Channel 5’s The Yorkshire Vet. www.nidderdalellamas.org
Seal of approval In East Yorkshire, you’ll find the UK’s largest mainland colony of gannets, plenty of puffins, birds of prey, otters, seals, whales, dolphins and so much more, against a backdrop of stunning scenery and hidden gems of countryside. For the best times and places to visit check out www.yorkshirenaturetriangle.org.uk
In deep Dedicated to increasing the knowledge and understanding of the world’s oceans through research and conservation schemes across the world, explore Hull’s The Deep and whilst you’re taking a look at the sharks, penguins, jellyfish, rays, turtles and other sea creatures, rest easy in the knowledge you’re helping future generations to be able to enjoy them too. www.thedeep.co.uk
Typically tropical Embark on an unforgettable adventure discovering amazing creatures and their habitats– spot a croc, peer at the meerkats and check out the monkeys, butterflies, bats and snakes at Leeds’ Tropical World. www.tropicalworld.leeds.gov.uk
“It’s about working out where we can make a difference and which animals need our support.” A question of conservation In 2013 the YWP Foundation was established with the aim of making the world a better place for wild animals. As part of the charity’s work it supports numerous projects across the world – on every continent except Antarctica. The foundation has funded a £34,500 initiative to protect lions at Mozambique’s Niassa National Reserve. As well as recruiting more rangers to monitor the lions, it is also coordinating a computer mapping and data sharing system. YWPF also supports rhino protection projects in Kenya, polar bear conservation projects in Norway and North America and giant otters in Brazil. With fewer than 1,000 living in the wild, Madagascar’s blue-eyed black lemurs are one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates. YWPF is funding a reserve to protect their habitat, ecotourism education projects and promoting research into these at-risk animals.
Breeding healthy populations YWP works with the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria to determine which animals it should breed and it has had numerous successes over the years. In November 2016, Thabo, one of YWP’s painted dogs gave birth to seven puppies. In the 1900s more than 500,000 roamed across 39 African counties. Today there are fewer than 5,000 and they are the second most endangered carnivores in Africa. Almost hunted to extinction, in the 1940s there were just 40 Amur tigers left in the world. Now numbers are gradually increasing and YWP is also playing its part. Last year one of its tigers was moved to a Scottish safari park so she could be paired with a male and hopefully have cubs of her own. YWP is also part of an international breeding programme for Amur leopards. Two cubs, Anadyr and Teva, were born at the park in 2015 and will play a key role in the big cat reintroduction programme.
Don’t miss Walk past the okapi enclosure and you’ll hear the same question being asked again and again. “They are beautiful, but what exactly are they?” The bemusement is understandable. Okapi have the legs of a zebra, the face of a giraffe, the body of a small horse – in short they look as though they have been hurriedly put together from the parts of a dozen other animals. YWP’s okapis, Ruby and Nuru, arrived in 2018 and immediately became one of the park’s star attractions. Native to Central Africa these intriguing creatures were only discovered in 1901, but today only 10,000 are believed to be left in the wild. Okapis can only make three sounds, so listen closely and you might just hear them chuff, moan or make a little bleat.